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Oct. 19, 2017, 3:32 a.m. EDT

German businesses upbeat about future: DIHK

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By Andrea Thomas

BERLIN--Germany's businesses have never been as upbeat before and expect the party to go on, according to a survey published Thursday by a business group.

The poll of 27,000 German companies doing business abroad was conducted by the DIHK Chambers of Commerce between the end of August and early October.

For the companies, the "business situation has never been better," the DIHK reported. "The economy is broadly based on strong domestic demand and solid exports," it said.

With investments also driving growth, 25% of the companies polled see their businesses doing better in the 12 months ahead, while 64% expect their situation to remain favorable.

The upbeat outlook sees Germany's economic growth accelerating to 2.2% next year from a forecast 2.0% this year, after 2016 saw growth of 1.9%.

Companies' export expectations, however, improved only slightly. "A clear rise was prevented by the numerous external trade challenges," DIHK said. "Part of this is the ongoing unclear policy course of the U.S. government, the upcoming Brexit, [developments] in Turkey as well as growing trade hurdles with important trading partners."

Businesses' concerns about the euro's strength and its possible negative impact on German products' price competitiveness are also on the rise, it said.

Overall, the industry group predicts export growth to accelerate to 4% this year and to 4.5% in 2018 after it saw a 2.6% increase last year.

Companies will also take on more staff, according to the survey. "Companies plan to increase their staffing levels further and this willingness [to hire] is at the highest level in six years," DIHK said.

Write to Andrea Thomas at andrea.thomas@wsj.com

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